Sunday, 29 May 2016

Interview With Author Arnold Logan

Today I have an interview with fellow Canadian, and satirical author Arnold Logan. Enjoy!

Interview With Arnold Logan

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

Experience has been my teacher. I shrank from the firm embrace of power, preferring to learn by sitting on a footstool in the School of Hard Knocks. But I paid what seemed to be the exorbitant price that school exacts.
I once read the story of a young man who smuggled hashish from Afghanistan through Russia in the 1970s. He rode the Siberian Express train and was caught by the Russian police, only to be put in a Siberian prison for any years. On the day he was released, he followed the example of the other prisoners who’d been freed. It was the custom there to break in half the spoon which was the one piece of cutlery the prisoners were allowed to have. Every prisoner kept that tin spoon close at hand, lest it be stolen from him. If that happened, their diet of watery, compromised soup would go uneaten and be stolen by others. Like that young man, I, too, have broken my spoon in half. Perhaps I am still breaking it.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

Springtime in Lawrence Park is a roman á clef, one that’s influenced by the picaresque novels of the eighteenth century. It’s a rollicking yarn, if I dare analyse my own style.
The novel follows Marie Barnacle, the heroine or subject (if you prefer). Marie is the youngest child in an old-money family that’s slid down a few rungs on Canada’s social ladder. They have great expectations for their daughter, of course. I trace Marie’s struggles as she tries to transform herself—from a chrysalis into a butterfly. But the ancient force of authority and the genetic tug of medieval history combine with the motives of her family to oppose her progress and development.

Who is your intended readership?

The reader whose reward is sympathy.

What are your writing inspirations?

For this novel, the books that feed its cold stream are Hamlet, The Tempest, everything by Daniel Defoe (but especially Roxanna), and Dickens’ Little Dorrit.
The poets have been inspirational too. Baudelaire the Miraculous, Shelley the Gentle, Keats the Giver, Poe the Obscure.

What was the most challenging part of writing this book?

The greatest challenge was to stay the course. The second was entering the arena of dialogue; I feared that the most.

What did you most enjoy about writing this book?

The triumphal whirl that came from the inspiration inherent in composing that first draft. Which, of course, was followed by the essential work—breaking up hot rocks in the sunshine of editing.

Did anything surprise you about the process of writing your book?

The joy of unearthing buried treasures in the course of rewriting.

Why did you write this book?

I felt like a tailor sewing a coat. After devising a pattern, I cut it out and selected the fabric.
I’ve always wanted to speak, to speak of the stories I’ve gleaned or suffered through or sought out curiously. This is my first effort to be heard in public.
To say that I was inspired by emotions, by tragedy, and by an urge to honour the writers who have often rescued me would seem trite, were it not true. And the sheer pleasure derived from the process—pen in hand—inspired me to continue to the end.
When the book was complete, when it was over, it felt a bit like losing a friend, which is, of course, a bitter end. But this is one friend who I may never lose fully, and I’m starting to appreciate the sweetness of closure with its potential for a new beginning and new friendships.

What’s your next project?

I’d like to write about war and orphans, but I haven’t formed an outline yet. Right now I’m bundling some poems together to send off to magazines.

Springtime in Lawrence Park

Marie Barnacle should have had the perfect life. Born into wealth and prestige, she grew up in posh Lawrence Park, with its winding roads, stone mansions, and old money. But Marie’s charmed life is haunted by a dark family secret. The youngest child of Raul and Tabitha Barnacle, Marie Dorée is burdened by her parents’ attempts to burnish the faded glory of their dynasty. This dark satire follows Marie through her troubled childhood, rebellious adolescence, and her efforts to establish a life beyond the reach of her domineering parents and possessive brothers. She traipses from one unfulfilling career to the next and drifts through a series of dalliant affairs. When she finds a love that offers a real escape, Marie’s family tightens its noose. The Barnacles would do anything to protect their darling—even destroy her. Springtime in Lawrence Park peers past the veneer of our most dignified neighbour­ hoods to explore the hidden—and often hysterical—lives of the decadent elite

You can find Springtime in Lawrence Park at:

Fire and Ash Publishing


It is also available on

Friday, 27 May 2016

Book Spotlight for the Twin-Bred Series

Today I bring you a spotlight on the new boxed set of the science fiction series, Twin-Bred, plus a peek at the newly released book three, Leaders. Enjoy!

The Twin-Bred Series by Karen A. Wyle

Can interspecies diplomacy begin in the womb? This is the question that launched the Twin-Bred series.

As the series begins, humans have lived on Tofarn, planet of creeks and rivers, for seventy years, but they still don't understand the Tofa. The Tofa are an enigma, from their featureless faces to the four arms that sometimes seem to be five. They take arbitrary umbrage at the simplest human activities, while annoying their human neighbors in seemingly pointless ways. The next infuriating, inexplicable incident may explode into war.

Scientist Mara Cadell's radical proposal: that host mothers carry fraternal twins, human and Tofa, in the hope that the bond between twins can bridge the gap between species. Mara knows about the bond between twins: her own twin, Levi, died in utero, but she has secretly kept him alive in her mind as companion and collaborator.

Mara succeeds in obtaining governmental backing for her project – but both the human and Tofa establishments have their own agendas. Mara must shepherd the Twin-Bred through dangers she anticipated and others that even the canny Levi could not foresee. Will the Twin-Bred bring peace, war, or something else entirely?

The saga begins in Twin-Bred, continues in Reach, Book Two, and in the newly released Leaders, Book Three.

The boxed set of the series is now available at:

Warning: spoilers ahead for those who haven't read books one and two.

Leaders by Karen A. Wyle

They fled Tofarn and found a new home. Should they care what happens to the old?

The Twin-Bred are finally ready to welcome visitors to New Landing, the refuge they found after fleeing the former Tofa regime. They have invited Lan-sol, child of the only Tofa Twin-Bred still on Tofarn, to cross the galaxy through the same wormhole that channels communications between the two planets. But suddenly, all communication becomes impossible.

Lan-sol must decide whether to venture into the now-silent unknown. And the Twin-Bred must ask themselves whether the fate of those they left behind is important enough to justify a return to the planet they once called home.

Leaders is available at:

About the Author

Karen A. Wyle lives in Indiana with her husband and their sweet but neurotic dog, occasionally graced with visits from one or both of their adult daughters. She is an appellate attorney and photographer as well as an author, and spends too much time discussing politics on social media. In science fiction and other genres, she tends to deal with themes of family, communication, the impossibility of controlling events, and the persistence of unfinished business.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Book Spotlight: Kallum's Fury

Today I have a book spotlight for the epic fantasy novel,  Kallum's Fury by E. Michael Mettille. This is the second book in the Lake of Dragons series. Enjoy!

Kallum's Fury by E. Michael Mettille

Five summers have passed since Maelich and Cialia bested Kallum over the Forgotten Forest and scattered the god to the wind. Ouloos is entering an era of peace like none the world has ever known. Or is it?
Tragedy strikes. Ymitoth is killed at the hands of dead-eyed men bearing an uncanny resemblance to Kallum’s priests. The loss proves too great for Maelich to cope. His sanity slips and he vanishes.
Cialia embarks on a quest to find her lost brother. Along the way she learns her former city, Druindahl, has entered a period of darkness. The people she once protected are at the mercy of mercenaries interested only in coin and presided over by a king powerless to stop them. The cruelty she finds in the hearts of these horrible, false riders of Druindahl is more than she can stand. She finds her flame. The aftermath challenges the very core of her moral beliefs.
Meanwhile, war threatens the shores west of Havenstahl. Without the city’s two greatest heroes to protect her, one man must stand up and lead the armies of the greatest city of men against an unstoppable force of monsters from across the Great Sea. Riddled with uncertainty, Daritus must stand tall against overwhelming self-doubt and lead his soldiers into a war more perilous than any in Havenstahl’s history. Ouloos will never be the same.

Kallum's Fury is available at Amazon

Author Bio:

E. Michael Mettille is the pen name of Mike Reynolds. Mike Reynolds is the author of Lake of Dragons and Hell and the Hunger. Mike has also written numerous short stories and poems. He has spent the last twenty years in direct marketing, print, and communication. Mike is fascinated by history, belief systems, the human condition and how all of those things work together to define who we are as a people. The world is a wonder and, based on the history of us, it is a wonder we have a world left to wonder about. Born and raised in Milwaukee, WI, he now lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Shelia.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Drabble Wednesday: Lost in the Woods

Today on Drabble Wednesday we venture far into the deep, dark woods, among the horrors and the primal fears…

Welcome, Dearie

Welcome dearie, to my humble cottage in the woods. It’s not much, I’m sure you consider it very meager. But I’m a poor old woman, with no coffers of gold. I have to make do with odd jobs.
Like the one your wife gave me.
You shouldn’t have cheated on her, you know.
But don’t you worry, I’ll try to make the killing painless. Take comfort in the fact your meat and bones will fill my larder and belly for some time. I won’t waste a thing.
So what will it be, oh Prince?
The carving knife or the cleaver?



It is dark in Onyx Woods.
The sun never creeps within its shadows, and it never knows light. The wind blows cold, and whispers horrors to gloom. The trees sway and moan, and sometimes scream in pain. The damp, loamy earth smells of perpetual blood.
It is dark in Onyx Woods.
Not a living creature skitters through that forest, though shapes move like grey mist. No birds sing, no mice scurry, but things move within its depths. Things shift and shriek and shudder.
Stay away from Onyx Woods
The ghosts of the dead linger there.
The ghosts of the damned.



Such a damsel I distress am I.
Lost in the woods.
I’m so frightened.
Oh, someone come and save me!
I can’t believe that lame prince bought my act. All I had to do was bat my eyes, tell a sob story, and pretend to faint. The gullible fool whisked me to his castle, and after some weeks of feigned simpering asked me to marry him.
Of course, I said yes.
Once we’re wed I’ll poison his wine to ensure I get my hands on his riches.
And it sure beats being hunted through those woods for murdering my step-mother.

© A. F. Stewart 2016 All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Drabble Wednesday: Cold Revenge

Today on Drabble Wednesday, I serve up a dish best served cold… Revenge.

Country of Shadows

In the darkness I fume, in the blackness I scheme... mine enemies best beware. Revenge is best served bloody.
I still feel their sharp blades, cutting, cutting, draining my blood, my life. They left me to stain the marble and die. I saw their looming shadows as I took my last breath.
Death did not finish me, though.
I yet exist.
Somewhere between, in this eternal night.
Somewhere in the shadows of what I once called home.
I see them. I will haunt them.
I will ruin them.
Then I will see their blood run free to stain the marble.


Absinthe in the Rain

I stand on a Paris street in the rain.
I can hear the soft strains of happy laughter, and faint music from the Moulin Rouge.
I am waiting.
He will come to me this time.
It has been a year since he abandoned me, abandoned our grand plan. But I did not give up. I succeeded. Now he will be the fool, as he once called me.
He walks up the road. He sees me in under the street light. My men shoot him dead.
I watch his body fall, the bottle of absinthe he held smashing on the cobblestones.


Dollhouse of Death

“Stop squirming.”
But the miniature man keeps wriggling, so I squeeze, just a bit, to make my point. I hear a tiny crack, and a small high pitched scream.
Oh dear, I’ve broken him. No matter, he’ll be dead soon.
I shrug and place him in the doll house, on the small braided rug. He cradles his arm and moans.
The two others stay huddled in the corner. I think they’re still in shock from my spell. And yesterday’s killing. I did a public execution with a working guillotine.
Their own fault, really. They should not have double-crossed a witch.

© A. F. Stewart 2016 All Rights Reserved

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